Will Ben Roethlisberger Ever Make It Through an Entire Season Healthy?

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 12:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on November 12, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left the Monday Night Football showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11 after injuring his shoulder while being sacked. 

According to Mark Kaboly via Twitter, the injury was serious enough that Roethlisberger had to leave the stadium to go to a hospital:


Reports say that Roethlisberger left the stadium on his way to the hospital

— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) November 13, 2012


It's an unfortunate setback for Big Ben, but not exactly a surprising one. Roethlisberger has seemingly battled various injury in every season of his career so far, which begs the question: Are we ever going to see a season where Ben Roethlisberger doesn't suffer an injury? 

Big Ben is undoubtedly one of the toughest players in football as he has repeatedly played through various injuries that have in one way or another limited his playing ability. 

Big Ben has had multiple knee, concussion, shoulder, hand and rib issues throughout the course of his nine years in the NFL. That doesn't include serious injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident before the 2006 season. 

The latest injury for Ben is most disappointing because he was having such a stellar year under center for the Steelers. 

Entering the game with the Chiefs, Roethlisberger had thrown for 2,203 yards, 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions, bringing his quarterback rating to an outstanding 101.1 on the season. 

It's a decimating loss for the Steelers with Byron Leftwich as the backup. As he showcased against the Chiefs, Leftwich is not exactly the man Pittsburgh needs under center for the rest of the season, especially when facing off against better competition.

The Steelers need Roethlisberger to contend, that much we know. Pittsburgh lost in the postseason a year ago to the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos primarily because Ben was suffering from multiple injures and clearly wasn't himself. 

What should be more concerning at this point is Ben's long-term health. Thanks to the Steelers insistence on not properly upgrading the offensive line for the duration of Ben's tenure there, he's been hit more than a typical NFL quarterback. 

Roethlisberger is famous for extending plays with his feet and being difficult to tackle, but that same quality has hurt him as well. 

We're unlikely to ever see a season where Roethlisberger doesn't suffer an injury considering all his body has been through to this point. It's a disappointing scenario because we as fans have been robbed of seeing Big Ben at his full strength, and his career numbers have suffered as a result. 

Roethlisberger has only appeared in a full 16-game season once in his career back in 2008, and even then he played through the pain of various injuries. 

It appears as if 2012 will be another season that Roethlisberger is unable to finish in it's entirety, and with the beating he has taken over the past nine years, it's unlikely he'll see a full 16 games again.